Doubts Loom over Funding for Great Park

The OC Register’s Sean Emery turned in a solid story Friday on the Great Park that highlights the park’s financial difficulties going forward.

While construction to the tune of $65 million will begin to expand the preview park this summer, the money to fund building the rest of the park seems nowhere to be found:

Future construction at the Great Park, including a man-made lake, a canyon and a wildlife corridor, is tied to the fate of the housing market, specifically the progress of the private Great Park Neighborhoods project surrounding the project.

The Great Park is counting on tax increment funding drawn from the rising value of the Great Park Neighborhoods land to fund future construction projects through a series of redevelopment bonds.

With construction in the Great Park Neighborhoods not slated to begin until 2012, Great Park officials don’t expect to have enough tax increment revenue to support their first $30 million bond until 2015.

Officials say it is still unclear exactly how much the park will ultimately be able to raise through the tax increment funds.

Last month, the results of a Voice of OC/Probolsky Research poll question about the park showed that 61% of respondents had a negative opinion regarding the progress made on the park thus far.